The media loves to promote the lie that the white working class supports Trump and the GOP for economic reasons.
Because of political socialization by the right-wing media – the Christian evangelical movement and closed personal and social networks – many white conservative voters are unable to practice the systems level thinking necessary to connect their day-to-day struggles with the policies put in place by the Republican Party.
While this way of seeing and understanding the social and political world (what Walt Whitman influentially described as ‘the pictures inside of people’s heads’) may be at odds with the type of critical thinking and evidence-based reasoning that liberals and progressives take for granted – it still exerts a powerful hold over many millions of conservatives.
This alternate reality is not surprisingly anchored in place by the right-wing disinformation machine and Fox News.
Hochschild’s essay is further evidence of what I suggested in an earlier piece here at Salon: Republicans and the broader right-wing movement profit from a Machiavellian relationship where the more economic pain and suffering they inflict on red-state America – the more popular and powerful they become with those voters.
This is political sadism as a campaign strategy.